I’ve been teaching for fifteen years. I feel pretty good about the work I do there every cycle of 180 days. I see my students growing. I’ve examined the data. I make an impact.
Now success on a personal level is a whole other animal. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m my own worst critic. I rarely feel successful on a personal level. I doubt myself constantly. I complete personal projects and wonder almost obsessively whether or not I’ve just created an amazing masterpiece or an overflowing bucket of crap. I have encounters with other humans then analyze those encounters from every angle, worrying that I made the wrong impression, gave off an awkward vibe, made a fool of myself… oh, the list goes on.
Can we say insecure? Sure we can. Can we fix it?
Maybe. Though I’m nearly forty years into my existence and I’ve felt this way since about age ten. That’s three decades of self doubt. I’m going to need a damn big eraser to clean that mess up. Perhaps I should just hit the backspace key and have myself a do over.
Nah. That’s not the answer.
The answer rests in one word. Confidence. I sort of feel like Frodo Baggins and his crew. I’m on a quest. I’m not looking to throw a ring into the fires of Mount Doom though. I just want to find some confidence. Maybe I need a trip to the wizard in Oz. I’m sure he’s got a jar full of confidence in his shop. It’s right before the jar full of brains and after the jar full of courage. (C’mon, you know he’s got that stuff organized alphabetically, you know, if he were a real wizard.)
At least I don’t let this lack of confidence keep me from trying things. I try stuff. I just automatically think I suck at whatever it is I’m trying. I set goals, but call myself every degrading name in the book as I battle my own demons and try to reach those goals.
I eventually reach the goals.
What about you? Where do you think you’re successful? Where do you think you need a little (or big) push?